Newcastle v Everton: 5 talking points ahead of the game

Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) /

The return of Everton talisman means Lampard has a tough call to make

4. Calvert-Lewin return means a tough call for Lampard

While the formation and midfield offers up a conundrum for Lampard it is in the forward areas that will give the new Everton manager his biggest headache. Calvert-Lewin is back in contention and surely will come into Lampard’s team for such a crucial match.

The question is who will he replace in the starting lineup?

Richarlison scored a good goal on Saturday and looked much sharper than his last performance. Gray has been the main set piece taker and been the most potent of Everton’s forwards so far this season. Then how can you drop Gordon who has improved greatly this season and received a standing ovation on Saturday when he was replaced.

The option of a 4-3-3 enables Lampard to either keep the same three up top as the weekend or go with Calvert-Lewin as the main striker up top and two of the quicker players either side to get to the by-line and get crosses in.

The latter will be more likely and the natural goal threat of Richarlison means it is highly unlikely he can be dropped.

Therefore it is between Gray and Gordon for the last forward starting berth. You could toss a coin to be honest, but I am sure Lampard and his coaching staff have done more extensive research than that.

The advantage for Gordon is both Gray and Richarlison like to play off the left, whereas he is a right winger and no one has offered any competition for his place on that side.

However Gray may get the nod as him and Richarlison could move positions quite often and not actually be given set roles on either wing. Lampard will want to test a noticeable lack of mobility in Newcastle’s back four and not just in the wide areas.

The key will be to get around Calvert-Lewin and use his height to flick balls in behind the Newcastle defence with game runners coming from all angles, including Alli or Van de Beek from midfield.

Also the pressing will be intense and it was obvious on Saturday, as we stated in our review after the game, that Lampard directed this centrally to be able to prevent the opposition playing through the lines easily.

Whoever Lampard chooses just because of the more positive nature of Everton’s football means these forward players will have more chances to score themselves or set others up to do so. Let’s hope Calvert-Lewin can rediscover his finishing prowess as well as improving his match fitness.